Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

+39 011 090 6100 info@tech-share.it

Physiologically compatible artificial cells

Advanced drug deliveryPhysiological artificial cellsSmart therapeuticsStimuli-responsive liposomes


The invention is a genetically-controlled, stimuli-responsive (nano)bioreactor, i.e. artificial cells, that can produce proteins and release cargo materials after synthesizing the therapeutics. The invention is compatible with and/or operates under physiological conditions. Artificial cells can be used as smart drug-delivery devices, influencing both eukaryotic and bacterial cells within the host organisms.

Technical features

The invention uses an optimized cell-free transcription-translation machinery to synthesize the drug molecules and/or polypeptides. The components are encapsulated into stable lipid-based containers which are responsive to external signals. The cargo delivery is typically achieved via pore forming proteins, which allow the diffusion of therapeutics. The artificial cells can be repurposed to monitor the host metabolism and extracellular signals for responding to the changes in the host. Proteins can be produced and released, as well as neurotransmitters, hormones, and other types of physiological molecules. Three examples of such kind are given in the present invention as serotonin, dopamine and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The applications would vary from intervention of the human diseases, either microbial or host-derived, such as cancer, to cell-signaling and metabolism-associated diseases. The technology can also integrate with plant cells and crops to maturate, enhance the yields and improve the resistance to pathogens.

Possible Applications

  • Targeted and stimuli-responsive synthesis of therapeutics;
  • Release of pharmacologically active molecules;
  • Alteration of host physiology without genetic tools;
  • Intervention of cancer, metabolic  and neurological disorders;
  • Release and delivery of genome editing tools, growth factors, and cytokines.


  • Artificial cells can sense the external signals, synthesise and release the therapeutics only when and where needed;
  • The technology is physiologically compatible and can be adapted for tissue targeted drug delivery;
  • Artificial cells integrate with the host-microbiome and can work with plants.